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There is also one other method of procuring gold; by making it from orpiment,1 a mineral dug from the surface of the earth in Syria, and much used by painters. It is just the colour of gold, but brittle, like mirror-stone,2 in fact. This substance greatly excited the hopes of the Emperor Caius,3 a prince who was most greedy for gold. He accordingly had a large quantity of it melted, and really did obtain some excellent gold;4 but then the proportion was so extremely small, that he found himself a loser thereby. Such was the result of an experiment prompted solely by avarice: and this too, although the price of the orpiment itself was no more than four denarii per pound. Since his time, the experiment has never been repeated.

1 "Auripigmentum." Yellow sulphuret of arsenic. See B. xxxiv. c. 56.

2 "Lapis specularis." See B. xxxvi. c. 45.

3 Caligula.

4 It was accidently mixed with the ore of arsenic, no doubt, unless, indeed, the emperor was imposed upon.

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